BES: Adirondack: Round seven preview

* Sean Caisse Unlocks Key For Success On Adirondack's Tricky Oval * Santerre, Kobyluck Dominate First Four Years Of Adirondack Records * Lead Changes Plentiful, Late Passes Are The Rule At Adirondack * Olsen's 54-Point Lead...

* Sean Caisse Unlocks Key For Success On Adirondack's Tricky Oval

* Santerre, Kobyluck Dominate First Four Years Of Adirondack Records

* Lead Changes Plentiful, Late Passes Are The Rule At Adirondack

* Olsen's 54-Point Lead Not Comfortable

* Skaff, Gordon Add Adirondack to Their Schedule

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla, (July 25, 2006)- One of the most common expressions in a racer's vocabulary, when talking about race car handling, is "bite". One glossary defines bite as "the adhesion of a tire to the track surface." It's easy to see why bite is such an important topic. With it, a race car goes where the driver points it. Without bite, the speed and precision needed to be competitive are impossible.

It's easy to envision a car needing side bite in the corners, to keep it from sliding outward, and forward bite coming off the corner onto the straight, to get the horsepower to the ground. But what about the next track on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series schedule, Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y., where almost the entire half mile track is one big left turn?

Explaining his setup for the Edge Hotel 150 at Adirondack on Saturday, July 29, Sean Caisse, driver of the No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet and current runner-up in the Busch East Series point race, says forward bite is king, even outranking the drivers' usual best friend, horsepower.

"You set the car up with the nose real soft so you can get forward bite off the corners. You could come there with any motor and be real competitive if you've got that forward bite," Caisse noted.

While turns one, two, and three blend into one another, Adirondack does have a distinct turn four that separates the potential winning cars from those where the driver is just hanging on. "A lot of drivers push up the track coming off turn four, so that was my favorite place to make a pass," Caisse said in describing his rookie appearance at Adirondack last season driving Barney McRae's No. 5 Motion Racing Chevrolet. Caisse had an eventful day last July, racing from the back only to be involved in a pair of incidents before finishing 13th.

An often asked question about Adirondack International Speedway is this: Does a driver ever really point the car straight? "Absolutely not," declared Caisse without hesitation, adding, "It's a driver's race track. You're lucky if you ever feel the floorboard because you never open the throttle all the way."

ONLY THE BEST NEED APPLY: Caisse's characterization of Adirondack as a driver's track is borne out by the fact that in four years the top of the results has been dominated by two of the best drivers the Busch East Series has seen, Matt Kobyluck and Caisse's own car owner and crew chief Andy Santerre. Santerre won with Kobyluck second in the 2002 inaugural, while Kobyluck has led Santerre to the checkered flag the last two years. The only time that duo has been kept off the podium was in 2003, when Dale Quarterley came from behind in the closing laps to steal a race dominated by Martin Truex Jr.

COMPETITIVE: In four years there have been a total of 18 lead changes in Busch East Series races at Adirondack, an average of 4.5 per race. The earliest a winner has taken the lead for the final time was lap 136, by Matt Kobyluck in 2004.

NOT OUT OF REACH: Mike Olsen, coming off two straight wins, enters the Edge Hotel 150 with a lead of 54 points over Sean Caisse. To show how quickly that lead can disappear, Caisse's car owner, Andy Santerre, trailed by 58 points with seven races left in the 2002 season. Two races later, he was leading.

SPREADING THEIR WINGS: Fred Skaff's No. 33 Archer Corp./The Woodworks Ford will appear for the first time at Adirondack with driver Tracy Gordon as the team continues to expand its schedule which was primarily limited to supersperedway races until this year. Gordon raced his own car in the 2002 Adirondack inaugural, qualifying tenth and finishing 12th. Mike Gallo was 11th at Adirondack in 2003 with the Skaff machine.

LEADRBOARD - after 6 of 11 races

Busch East Series points standings: 1. Mike Olsen 1025, 2. Sean Caisse 971, 3. Matt Kobyluck 877, 4. Mike Johnson 867, 5. Brian Hoar 845, 6. Bryon Chew 834, 7. Charles Lewandoski 811, 8. Joey McCarthy 802, 9. Ruben Pardo 758, 10. Jeff Anton 726

Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings: 1. Ruben Pardo 54, 2. Dion Ciccarelli 48, 3. Jeremy Clark 45, 4. Pierre Bourque 41, 5. (tie) Patrick Dupree, John Freeman 39, 7. Brent Cross 26

Busch Pole Awards: Sean Caisse 3, Mike Olsen 2, Brian Hoar 1

POWERade Power Move of the Race Awards: Jeremy Clark, Ryan Seaman, Tracy Gordon, Jamie Aube, Carlos Pardo, Dave Dion 1

Featherlite Most Improved Driver Awards: Brian Hoar 2; Joey McCarthy, Mike Johnson, Sean Caisse, John Freeman 1

FAST FACTS

What: The Edge Hotel 150, NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Race #7 of 11

Where: Adirondack International Speedway, Beaver Falls, N.Y.

When: Saturday, July 29, 2006, 8:00 p.m.

Track layout: 0.5 mile paved oval
Race distance: 150 laps, 75.0 miles

Posted awards: $116,291

Television: SPEED, Thursday, August 10, 5:30 p.m.

2005 The Edge Hotel 150 race winner: Matt Kobyluck
2005 The Edge Hotel 150 Busch Pole winner: Ryan Moore

Track record: 16,693 seconds, 107.830 miles per hour, Ryan Moore, July 30, 2005

Schedule: Saturday, July 29 - Practice 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. & 4:15 to 4:45 p.m.; Busch Pole Qualifying 6:00 p.m.; The Edge hotel 8:00 p.m. (approx.)

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Dale Quarterley , Matt Kobyluck , Mike Johnson , Jeff Anton , Ryan Moore , Pierre Bourque , Sean Caisse , Rubén Pardo , Charles Lewandoski , Bryon Chew , Brent Cross